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SB518 SUB1 Senate Bill 518 History

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Key: Green = existing Code. Red = new code to be enacted
SB518 SUB1
COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE

FOR

Senate Bill No. 518

(By Senators McCabe, Caruth, Browning, Barnes, Hall, Sypolt, Deem, Boley, Guills, K. Facemyer, Minard, Plymale, Wells, Stollings, Jenkins, Edgell, Williams, D. Facemire, Palumbo, Green, Tomblin (Mr. President),
Yost, Fanning, Helmick, White, Kessler, Chafin, Laird, Unger, Snyder, Prezioso, Foster and Oliverio)

____________

[Originating in the Committee on Energy, Industry and Mining;

reported February 18, 2010.]

____________



A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by adding thereto a new article, designated §5B-8-1, §5B-8-2, §5B-8-3, §5B-8-4, §5B-8-5 and §5B-8-6, all relating to the creation of the Governor's Commission on Shaping the Future of Energy for the United States; making legislative findings; setting forth the members and officers of the commission; setting the compensation and the funding for the expenses of the commission; granting powers and duties to the commission; requiring the commission to report to the Joint Committee on Government and Finance and the Governor; and providing for the termination of the commission.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended by adding thereto a new article, designated §5B-8-1, §5B-8-2, §5B- 8-3, §5B-8-4, §5B-8-5 and §5B-8-6, all to read as follows:
ARTICLE 8. THE GOVERNOR'S COMMISSION TO SEIZE THE FUTURE OF ENERGY FOR AMERICA.

§5B-8-1. Legislative findings.
The Legislature hereby finds and declares that:
(a) West Virginia has an abundance of natural resources that are utilized to create energy for the United States, including coal, natural gas, wind, solar and biomass;
(b) Due to the scarcity of certain natural resources that are utilized to create energy and the national concern over environmental factors regarding energy use, the United States has made it a priority to rethink its energy policy;
(c) The global pressures of energy demand and environmental impacts of rapidly growing economies throughout the world has created uncertainty in the future of energy for the United States;
(d) Coal is a vital resource for the United States as approximately fifty percent of the power utilized in the United States currently comes from coal fired power plants;
(e) Coal will be important to the transition to energy sources and to the long term future of energy through the development of clean coal technologies;
(f) Natural gas is also a vital resource for the United States and the number of power plants burning natural gas is increasing nation wide;
(g) Certain technologies known as transtech energy are energy technologies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve industrial competitiveness and are available for implementation sooner rather than later including energy recycling, hybrid fossil-renewable energy systems, carbon allowance and offset strategies, capture and beneficial use of methane, capture and beneficial use of carbon dioxide, and energy storage;
(h) The implementation of such transtech energy technologies has already occurred in West Virginia, specifically through the implementation of recycled energy in Alloy, West Virginia, and such implementation will be essential to the transition of energy in the United States;
(i) The implementation and development of renewable energy technologies in West Virginia such as solar, wind, hydroelectric, geothermal, biomass, and fuel cell technology will also be essential to the future of energy in the United States;
(j) The development and commercialization of new energy technologies and the resulting jobs will help the United States to recover from its current economic downturn;
(k) On January 29, 2010, the President of the United States stated that clean coal technology is of vital importance to the future of energy in the United States and the transition to the future of energy for the United States;
(l) The President also stated that he desired that the United States become the world leader in developing the technologies that enable a transition to the future of energy that is economically and environmentally viable and that he wanted to work with West Virginia to seize the future of energy in the United States;
(m) West Virginia desires to take the lead in seizing the future of energy for the United States and desires to work with the President to develop and commercialize and deploy the technologies necessary to make this transition;
(n) With the aid of federal funds, the institutions of higher education in West Virginia and certain technology parks such as are capable and willing to make the research investments that are necessary to aid in this objective; and
(o) A Governor's commission is necessary to work with the President and his administration to maximize the potential of West Virginia to lead the United States in seizing the future of energy for the nation.
§5B-8-2. Governor's Commission to Seize the Future of Energy for America; appointment of members.

(a) Effective July 1, 2010, the Governor's Commission to Seize the Future of Energy for America is created.
(b) The commission shall consist of the following members: (1) One shall be the Governor or designee; (2) one shall be the Secretary of Commerce or designee; (3) one shall be the Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection or designee; and the Governor shall appoint with the advice and consent of the Senate; (4) one citizen member with knowledge or expertise in the coal industry; (5) one citizen member with knowledge or expertise in the natural gas industry; (6) one citizen member with knowledge or expertise in transtech energy (7) one citizen member with knowledge or expertise in the electrical power industry; (8) one citizen member representative of labor; (9) one citizen member representative of the environmental community with knowledge or expertise in alternative energies including wind, solar and biomass; (10) one citizen member representing higher education; and (11) one citizen at large member. In addition, the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House shall each appoint two ex officio nonvoting members of the commission from each respective house.
(c) The Governor or designee shall serve as chairperson and the Secretary of Commerce or designee shall serve as the vice chairperson. The commission shall appoint a secretary who need not be a member of the commission and who shall keep records of its proceedings. The commission shall utilize the staff of the Division of Energy in it's performance of all duties.
(d) Six members of the commission shall constitute a quorum and the affirmative vote of at least the majority of those members present shall be necessary for any action taken by vote of the commission.
§5B-8-3. Compensation and expenses of members; expenses of the commission.

(a) The members of the commission shall be reimbursed for all reasonable and necessary travel and other expenses incurred in connection with carrying out their duties as members of the commission, which expenses shall be paid in the manner and form prescribed by law or by any rule. The expenses shall be paid from the Governor's Civil Contingency Fund upon approval of the Governor.
(b) Other expenses of the commission, which shall be in an amount not to exceed $500,000, including any fees, salaries, wages and other expenses, shall be paid from the appropriations made to the Governor's Civil Contingency Fund, upon approval of the Governor.
The commission may utilize any funds donated to it by any other source, public or private, to accomplish the powers and duties established in section four of this article.
(c) Members of the commission may receive no other compensation for their services on or with the commission.
§5B-8-4. Powers and duties of the commission.
The commission has the following powers and duties:
(a) Work with the President of the United States and his or her administration to develop a plan that would allow West Virginia to become the leader in transitioning the United States to a new energy future;
(b) Determine the best way for West Virginia to utilize its resources and any federal funding to develop the technologies that are necessary for such a transition;
(c) Identify the areas of research and key technologies that will be necessary for the transition to take place;
(d) Develop a strategic plan to place the research and development of such technologies in locations across the state and engage all areas of expertise relevant within the state that will enable the development of such technologies to the fullest extent;
(e) Conduct or initiate studies, scientific or other investigations, research, experiments and demonstrations pertaining to energy technologies deemed to be necessary for the transition of energy;
(f) Recommend methods of facilitating the widespread use of identified key energy technologies including but not limited to clean coal technologies, transtech energy technologies, and renewable energy technologies;
(g) Clearly articulate West Virginia's position on an energy solution for the United States that encompasses clean coal, natural gas, transtech energy technologies and renewable energy technologies;
(h) Work with any entity deemed desirable to further the above objectives;
(i) Draft legislation necessary to carry out the above objectives;
(j) Employ legal, technical, investigative, clerical, stenographic, advisory and other personnel as necessary and to fix the reasonable compensation of persons;
(k) Perform any other act necessary to effectuate the provisions of this article;
(l) Meet no less than once a month to effectuate the provisions of this article;
(m) The commission shall develop energy related policies and information about the importance of West Virginia energy resources and their positive impact on the eastern seaboard and the nation; and
(n) The commission shall monitor legal challenges to the energy industries in the state and submit a report quarterly to the Joint Committee on Government and Finance. The report shall contain information relating to any litigation that challenges any statute that could affect the production, distribution and utilization of natural resources of the state.
§5B-8-5. Reports of the commission.

The commission shall report its findings and conclusions, along with any recommendations and legislation, it deems appropriate, to the Joint Committee on Government and Finance and the Governor on or before July 1, 2013.
§5B-8-6. Termination of commission.
The commission shall terminate January 1, 2014.

Article 8 is new; therefore, strike-throughs and underscoring have been omitted.
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